Giving Severely Wounded Veterans Security And Hope With Specially Adapted Homes

Since 2014, Budget Blinds®, in partnership with our manufacturing partner, Springs Window Fashions®, has been a corporate sponsor for Homes for Our Troops (HFOT), supporting their mission to build specially adapted, mortgage-free homes for post-9/11 severely injured Veterans. More than just a house, these homes give Veterans a second chance at life, a secure, forever place to live, helping them to rebuild their lives, raise their families, continue ongoing rehabilitation in a safe and nurturing environment, and build a future on a firm foundation.

 There’s no place like home, especially a mortgage-free, specially adapted home from Homes for Our Troops

Veterans whose lives have been shattered by multiple amputations, full- and partial-paralysis, traumatic brain injury (TBI), Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and impairment of vision and hearing are empowered to move forward when they receive a home designed for their specific needs. Over 40 special adaptations make the homes fully accessible, restoring a sense of freedom and independence as daily tasks become doable.

It will help give me a little bit of that dignity back ... not needing to be so reliant on others, especially my wife. I’ll be able to move around the house with no problem, go to the bathroom, cook dinner, and take a shower because the shower is a roll-in shower. It’s just going to be life changing.” –Sergeant Michael Gower, story below

A more beautiful view of the world

Window dressings are like the icing on a cake, the finishing touch to complete a room and enhance an outside view. Budget Blinds, with thanks to Springs Window Fashions for donating the product, provides custom faux wood blinds from our Signature Series® collection to add beauty, energy efficiency, and privacy and light control for each home HFOT builds. Local area franchise owners volunteer to measure and install the blinds, ensuring professional excellence and worry-free operation for years to come. 

Faux wood blinds provide comfort and convenience in every room by controlling light and privacy needs

  • For ultimate convenience and safety, one-touch automated window blinds, powered by Somfy® motorization, are installed in the master bath to eliminate reaching across the tub to adjust the blinds.
  • Blinds can be paired with fabric valances and drapery panels or curtains for a unique design statement.
  • Faux wood blinds are moisture resistant, appropriate for kitchens, bathrooms and laundry rooms where humidity is high.

It’s a labor of love, and Budget Blinds is proud to join the many corporate and individual supporters of HFOT who join forces and resources to make a difference in the lives of severely injured Veterans and their families. Every home is a big THANK YOU for courage, perseverance, and sacrifice while defending our country.

Meet Army First Lieutenant Nicholas Morris

 

On 9/11/2001, First Lieutenant Nicholas Morris was in high school history class and witnessed news coverage of the towers going down and that experience changed his life. He became motivated to join the military and started his service at Valley Forge Military Academy for early commissioning and then the ROTC at the University of South Carolina. After 10 years, he was on deployment in Afghanistan as a rifle platoon leader when the vehicle carrying him, four soldiers and one interpreter struck a pressure plate improvised explosive device (IED). The interpreter was killed, and Nicholas required an emergency tracheotomy in the field to save his life. He suffered damage to both legs, eventually losing his right leg, a broken back and jaw, lung damage, and severe traumatic brain injury. He awoke at Walter Reed Hospital with his dad telling him, “I’m so proud of you.” Confused, it took Nicholas about a month to put together everything that had happened. He currently wears a brace on his left leg, but ongoing pain and difficulty may eventually result in amputation.

Despite his injuries, Nicholas is on a mission to climb all of Colorado’s fourteeners as well as another five high state peaks to become the first amputee to climb all 58 mountain peaks. He’s starting a non-profit organization with another Veteran to help people overcome adversity by showing them that anything can be done. He wants to work with not only Veterans, but children, hikers, and anyone dealing with hardships. “I want to use my goals to inspire others. Words mean nothing. It’s actions that count.”

Besides hiking, Nicholas enjoys golf, gardening and working out. He believes the new specially adapted home will give him a second chance at life, a sense of control and security, and permanent roots in Montrose, CO. He first heard about HFOT while in the hospital from a fellow Veteran who was receiving a home. Of HFOT he says, “They are incredible, what they’re doing for wounded Veterans … they’re coming at our time of need and saying, ‘We’ve got ya!’ It’s because of people who support HFOT that Soldiers are able to rebuild their lives and finally move on from the tragedy and horror they have faced.”

 Going where no amputee has gone before and inspiring others to do the same

Sean Kreidler, franchise owner of Budget Blinds of Grand Junction, measured and installed the blinds in Nicholas’s new home. This is the second opportunity Sean has had, and he didn’t hesitate to jump on board again. His time and expertise will ensure safety and functionality throughout the house for Nicholas, including the ultimate convenience of motorized blinds in the master bath. 

Listen to Nicholas share his journey by clicking here.

Meet Army Sergeant Michael Gower

 

On his second deployment in Iraq in 2007, the vehicle Sergeant Michael Gower was riding in rolled over a two-ton IED, killing several occupants, injuring eight others, and severely injuring Michael. He sustained back injury, fractured feet and shattered heels, a broken tibia and fibula, and severe traumatic brain injury. He fought against double amputation below the knees even though his heels were shattered and have never healed properly. Doctors have not ruled out amputating both legs in the future. Michael is only ambulatory for short distances even with special leg braces, so he spends time in his wheelchair, which limits his access in his current home.

He and his wife, Kelli, are looking forward to the new HFOT home in Middleville, Michigan, that will improve their quality of life with Michael having full wheelchair access to every area of the home and the over 40 special adaptations catering to his needs and restoring independence. Michael shares, “It’s almost like a whole new life. I will be able to get in and out of my house and it will also make my wife’s and son’s lives better since they won’t have to watch me struggle.” He looks forward to a safe, accessible shower and a wheelchair-adapted kitchen that will allow him to teach his young son, Alexander, how to cook using recipes his dad taught him.

Michael works with Veteran support organizations in his community, including the VFW, Dorr American Legion, Operation Injured Soldiers, and the Buddy to Buddy program. Michael enjoys spending time with his family and, in his free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, woodworking and tinkering with small mechanical projects. The mortgage-free home will allow him to become financially stable and focus on being a dad. Kelli voices their excitement in the new home: “It will give us peace of mind and more freedom, the ability to interact as a family more. It means a whole new life.” 

Key Ceremony Day! Left: Melissa Beeg from Springs Window Fashions and Dan Idema, owner of Budget Blinds. Right: the Gower family cuts the ribbon to enter their new, forever home with Bill Ivey, Executive Director of Homes for Our Troops, assisting

This is the first HFOT home for Stacy and Dan Idema, franchise owners of Budget Blinds of Hudsonville.  When asked to participate, Stacy responded: “Wonderful that this is finally happening, we have been looking forward to working on this project!” They and their team donated time and expertise to install faux wood blinds throughout the house for privacy and light control, energy savings, and classic beauty. They attended the Key Ceremony on July 13 when the home was awarded to Michael and his family. “Our entire team at BB serving Greater Grand Rapids is so honored to be a part of this HFOT experience. We know that SGT Gower and his family will love their new home and their new blinds. We look forward to continuing to work with HFOT and spreading the message about the amazing work they are doing for our Veterans.”—Stacy Idema

Click here to hear Michael and Kelli tell their story.

Make a design statement with your windows

If a home refresh is on your to-do list, new window treatments can transform your home instantly. Unlimited colors, styles and finishes can accommodate every taste and every budget, including custom blinds, shutters, shades, and drapery. Further enhance your home’s comfort and functionality with smart home technology, Somfy® motorization, child-safe cordless options and eco-friendly products. All you have to do is ask! Call 866-879-9730 to schedule a free, in-home consultation or go online at www.budgetblinds.com to find a Style Consultant near you.   

Faux wood blinds pair beautifully with custom drapery panels for elegance in every room

Budget Blinds, LLC uses cookies. Cookies help track user website behavior for functionality, analytics, and marketing and may share your information with third parties. By visiting this website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more here.